“We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” – 1 John 5:19
Lately, it seems that every time we watch TV or search the internet, there’s another news story covering a gratuitous act of violence in America. Not a single day goes by in which someone isn’t abused, neglected, or killed. Why does this continue to happen? What lies behind the evil that plagues our country? How can it be contained and eliminated? When will these senseless acts of violence be snuffed out? Let’s see what Scripture has to say about this issue.
America continues to see unequaled acts of evil as never before experienced in its history. It is arguably getting worse. What’s at the cause of this? Is it just unbalanced people, schizophrenia or radicalized ideas?
Or could there be something deeper, darker and more sinister residing at the very core of this increasing shift towards violence and chaos?
In a span of a week, the United States has seen a rash of shootings: The Gilroy Garlic Festival in Northern California, a Walmart in Mississippi, a Walmart in El Paso and a shooting in an entertainment district in Ohio.
It’s not only the United States that is seen rising chaos, but protests and clashes are occurring all across the world: Hong Kong, Russia, Gaza, London, France, and Puerto Rico to name a few.
When tragedy strikes the atheists, agnostics, and non-believers are quick to admonish Christians for believing in a God that would allow such bad things to happen. These people are blinded to the truth, by the god of this world, Satan.
“In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” – 2 Corinthians 4:4
But there are two things these people, who apparently are not well-versed in the Bible, fail to understand: 1) God allows free will and 2) Satan controls the Earth.
God gave Satan dominion over the Earth when he was cast down from heaven. Consider the following Scripture when Jesus is tempted by Satan:
“Again, the devil took him [Jesus] to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, ‘All these I will give you if you will fall down and worship me.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Be gone, Satan! For it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.'” – Matthew 4:8-10
What’s most important here is what isn’t said. Notice that Jesus does not argue with Satan that he does not have the authority to give these kingdoms of the world to him. Why? Because Jesus knows that Satan is the ruler of the world.
Instead, the only thing Jesus argues with Satan about is worship. Jesus’ only argument is that we are to worship God and serve him only.
Jesus called Satan is the “prince of this world” and spoke of him as such in several verses.
“I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming, and he has no claim on Me.” – John 14:30
In this verse, Jesus points out that Satan will have a reign of chaos before he is ultimately brought under control. This is echoed in the book of Revelation. Satan “has no claim on” Jesus because Jesus is free from sin. The Bible tells us that there is not a human who has not sinned: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” – Romans 3:23
Satan, indeed, does have a claim on the rest of us until the judgment comes. However, Satan will also face judgment. Jesus said: “and in regard to judgment because the prince of this world has been condemned.” – John 16:11
Jesus also promises that Satan’s influence and rule will come to an end: “Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out.” – John 12:31
Jesus said that as we near the time of the end we are going to see a rise in evil like the world has never seen before. But Jesus also gave us instructions to know when these times were getting near.
“You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. These things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.” – Matthew 24:6-8
Jesus went on to describe just how bad things are going to get, but also to assure us that God will step in and take control before things go too far.
“For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, those days will be cut short.” – Matthew 24:21-22